J. Random /J rand'm/ n.
[common; generalized from J. Random Hacker] Arbitrary; ordinary; any one; any old. `J. Random' is often prefixed to a noun to make a name out of it. It means roughly `some particular' or `any specific one'. "Would you let J. Random Loser marry your daughter?" The most common uses are `J. Random Hacker', `J. Random Loser', and `J. Random Nerd' ("Should J. Random Loser be allowed to gun down other people?"), but it can be used simply as an elaborate version of random in any sense.
J. Random Hacker /J rand'm hak'r/ n.
[very common] A mythical figure like the Unknown Soldier; the archetypal hacker nerd. This term is one of the oldest in the jargon, apparently going back to MIT in the 1960s. See random, Suzie COBOL. This may originally have been inspired by `J. Fred Muggs', a show-biz chimpanzee whose name was a household word back in the early days of TMRC, and was probably influenced by `J. Presper Eckert' (one of the co-inventors of the electronic computer). See also Fred Foobar.
jack in v.
To log on to a machine or connect to a network or BBS, esp. for purposes of entering a virtual reality simulation such as a MUD or IRC (leaving is "jacking out"). This term derives from cyberpunk SF, in which it was used for the act of plugging an electrode set into neural sockets in order to interface the brain directly to a virtual reality. It is primarily used by MUD and IRC fans and younger hackers on BBS systems.
jaggies /jag'eez/ n.
The `stairstep' effect observable when an edge (esp. a linear edge of very shallow or steep slope) is rendered on a pixel device (as opposed to a vector display).
An object-oriented language originally developed at Sun by James Gosling (and known by the name "Oak") with the intention of being the successor to C++ (the project was however originally sold to Sun as an embedded language for use in set-top boxes). After the great Internet explosion of 1993-1994, Java was hacked into a byte-interpreted language and became the focus of a relentless hype campaign by Sun, which touted it as the new language of choice for distributed applications.
Java is indeed a stronger and cleaner design than C++ and has been embraced by many in the hacker community - but it has been a considerable source of frustration to many others, for reasons ranging from uneven support on different Web browser platforms, performance issues, and some notorious deficiencies of some of the standard toolkits (AWT in particular). Microsoft's determined attempts to corrupt the language (which it rightly sees as a threat to its OS monopoly) have not helped. As of 1999, these issues are still in the process of being resolved.
Despite many attractive features and a good design, it is difficult to find people willing to praise Java who have tried to implement a complex, real-world system with it (but to be fair it is early days yet, and no other language has ever been forced to spend its childhood under the limelight the way Java has). On the other hand, Java has already been a big win in academic circles, where it has taken the place of Pascal as the preferred tool for teaching the basics of good programming to the next generation of hackers.
JCL /J-C-L/ n.
1. IBM's supremely rude Job Control Language. JCL is the script language used to control the execution of programs in IBM's batch systems. JCL has a very fascist syntax, and some versions will, for example, barf if two spaces appear where it expects one. Most programmers confronted with JCL simply copy a working file (or card deck), changing the file names. Someone who actually understands and generates unique JCL is regarded with the mixed respect one gives to someone who memorizes the phone book. It is reported that hackers at IBM itself sometimes sing "Who's the breeder of the crud that mangles you and me? I-B-M, J-C-L, M-o-u-s-e" to the tune of the "Mickey Mouse Club" theme to express their opinion of the beast. 2. A comparative for any very rude software that a hacker is expected to use. "That's as bad as JCL." As with COBOL, JCL is often used as an archetype of ugliness even by those who haven't experienced it. See also IBM, fear and loathing.
A (poorly documented, naturally) shell simulating JCL syntax is available at the Retrocomputing Museum www.ccil.org/retro.
JEDR // n.
Synonymous with IYFEG. At one time, people in the Usenet newsgroup rec.humor.funny tended to use `JEDR' instead of IYFEG or `<ethnic>'; this stemmed from a public attempt to suppress the group once made by a loser with initials JEDR after he was offended by an ethnic joke posted there. (The practice was retconned by the expanding these initials as `Joke Ethnic/Denomination/Race'.) After much sound and fury JEDR faded away; this term appears to be doing likewise. JEDR's only permanent effect on the net.culture was to discredit `sensitivity' arguments for censorship so thoroughly that more recent attempts to raise them have met with immediate and near-universal rejection.
The spiritual successor to B1FF and the archetype of script kiddies. Jeff K. is a sixteen-year-old suburbanite who fancies himself a "l33t haX0r", although his knowledge of computers seems to be limited to the procedure for getting Quake up and running. His Web page www.somethingawful.com/jeffk features a number of hopelessly naive articles, essays, and rants, all filled with the kind of misspellings, studlycaps, and number-for-letter substitutions endemic to the script kiddie and warez d00dz communities. Jeff's offerings, among other things, include hardware advice (such as "AMD VERSIS PENTIUM" and "HOW TO OVARCLOAK YOUR COMPUTAR"), his own Quake clan (Clan 40 OUNSCE), and his own comic strip (Wacky Fun Computar Comic Jokes).
Like B1FF, Jeff K. is (fortunately) a hoax. Jeff K. was created by internet game journalist Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka, whose web site Something Awful (http://www.somethingawful.com) highlights unintentionally humorous news items and Web sites, as a parody of the kind of teenage luser who infests Quake servers, chat rooms, and other places where computer enthusiasts congregate. He is well-recognized in the PC game community and his influence has spread to hacker fora like Slashdot as well.
[Usenet: by analogy with spam] A message that is both excessively cross-posted and too frequently posted, as opposed to spam (which is merely too frequently posted) or velveeta (which is merely excessively cross-posted). This term is widely recognized but not commonly used; most people refer to both kinds of abuse or their combination as spam.
1. The duration of one tick of the system clock on your computer (see tick). Often one AC cycle time (1/60 second in the U.S. and Canada, 1/50 most other places), but more recently 1/100 sec has become common. "The swapper runs every 6 jiffies" means that the virtual memory management routine is executed once for every 6 ticks of the clock, or about ten times a second. 2. Confusingly, the term is sometimes also used for a 1-millisecond wall time interval. 3. Even more confusingly, physicists semi-jokingly use `jiffy' to mean the time required for light to travel one foot in a vacuum, which turns out to be close to one nanosecond. 4. Indeterminate time from a few seconds to forever. "I'll do it in a jiffy" means certainly not now and possibly never. This is a bit contrary to the more widespread use of the word. Oppose nano. See also Real Soon Now.
job security n.
When some piece of code is written in a particularly obscure fashion, and no good reason (such as time or space optimization) can be discovered, it is often said that the programmer was attempting to increase his job security (i.e., by making himself indispensable for maintenance). This sour joke seldom has to be said in full; if two hackers are looking over some code together and one points at a section and says "job security", the other one may just nod.
1. A programmer who is characterized by large and somewhat brute-force programs. See brute force. 2. When modified by another noun, describes a specialist in some particular computing area. The compounds `compiler jock' and `systems jock' seem to be the best-established examples.
joe code /joh' kohd`/ n.
Correspondents wishing to remain anonymous have fingered a particular Joe at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and observed that usage has drifted slightly; the original sobriquet `Joe code' was intended in sense 1.
1994 update: This term has now generalized to `<name> code', used to designate code with distinct characteristics traceable to its author. "This section doesn't check for a NULL return from malloc()! Oh. No wonder! It's Ed code!". Used most often with a programmer who has left the shop and thus is a convenient scapegoat for anything that is wrong with the project.
jolix /joh'liks/ n.,adj.
386BSD, the freeware port of the BSD Net/2 release to the Intel i386 architecture by Bill Jolitz, Lynne Greer Jolitz, and friends. Used to differentiate from BSDI's port based on the same source tape, which used to be called BSD/386 and is now BSD/OS. See BSD.
juggling eggs vi.
Keeping a lot of state in your head while modifying a program. "Don't bother me now, I'm juggling eggs", means that an interrupt is likely to result in the program's being scrambled. In the classic 1975 first-contact SF novel "The Mote in God's Eye", by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, an alien describes a very difficult task by saying "We juggle priceless eggs in variable gravity." See also hack mode and on the gripping hand.
jump off into never-never land v.
[from J. M. Barrie's "Peter Pan"] Same as branch to Fishkill, but more common in technical cultures associated with non-IBM computers that use the term `jump' rather than `branch'. Compare hyperspace.
[IRC] To kill an IRC bot or user and then take its place by adopting its nick so that it cannot reconnect. Named after a particular IRC user who did this to NickServ, the robot in charge of preventing people from inadvertently using a nick claimed by another user. Now commonly shortened to `jupe'.Return to